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Dorset: Day 4 – 26.07.20……..Hey, we’re getting the hang of this!

You are not going to believe this! The ‘Kimmeridge and Ghostly Tyneham’ circular walk we did today, selected from the AA 50 Walks in Dorset book said, and I quote …..’Distance 7.5 miles, minimum time 3hrs 30mins’. Well guess what? On our circular walk we walked 8 miles, well Maice did, I walked 7.2 miles. Maice took 19,859 steps whereas I took 19,297 but fortunately it took us the same time to get around, which was just over five hours. However, you must remember that the minimum time, minimum being the key word here and quoted in the book was 3hrs 30mins. So if you factor in our morning coffee at Clavells down in Kimmeridge, then a lunch stop at Tyneham, I think overall we were bang on cue! What a result. And……we did….not….get….. lost!

I was in Lidl as soon as they opened the doors at 10am, facemask firmly in place. That was the first dilemma of the day…..which colour to wear, I seem to have at least ten masks to choose from!. So I chose the light blue one, which Sandra had made. She made four, in different colours and patterns, two for me and two for Maice which we’ve been wearing over the course of our staycation. They’re really lovely, so a shout out 📢 must go to Sandra for being a whizz with the sewing machine and producing them in plenty of time for our bijou staycation.

I was actually in Lidl to pick up some provisions for our picnic lunch, choosing brown rolls, crisps and some nuts, for energy. Over at Maices, she added the cheese and cucumber to the rolls and we were ready, but not before I made Maice securely tie her keys to the inside of her backpack so we knew exactly where they were. And with that we drove off to Kimmeridge, on this, day 4 of our staycation.

We had a bit of a wobble when we got to the signpost for Tyneham. Do we follow the road straight ahead or turn right. Maice assured me, with not much conviction, that it didn’t matter which way we went, we’d still get to Kimmeride but I was a bit more sceptical. However, to give her the benefit of the doubt we turned right, and she was correct, we ended up on the road to Kimmeridge, pulling in to the carpark at the top of the hill, as per the instructions on the walk. So far, so good.

We changed into our walking shoes, rearranged our backpacks, took the obligatory ‘selfie’ and read the next part of the route. ‘Turn right then left at the stile, enjoy the sweeping views as you descend‘. Now, I thought this route was the same one I’d done with Barry last year, and tracing it on the map yesterday confirmed that, so I was surprised that we needed to turn left at the stile and not turn right to walk up the hill. Maybe we were doing the walk in reverse. Yes, that’s probably it! So we crossed the stile and admired the sweeping views, like it said to do. Ah, aren’t we lucky to live where we do, we said as we walked down the hill towards Clavells café where we stopped for a wee stop, a cappuccino and a scone.

Fed, watered and relieved, we read the next part of the directions. ‘Bear left, then over a stile, bear left, walk past a coppice……mmm, we’ve had problems identifying those on previous walks, go straight, over a stile, turn right, turn left then right, turn left, descend the steps, cross the bridge, bear right and continue along the path along the cliffs’. No wonder we get lost!! I was at this point very confused. This is going in completely the wrong direction to the walk I did last year yet it looked exactly the same on the map. Okay, I know my map reading skills aren’t the greatest but the route looks exactly the same. As we made our way over the first stile we set ourselves a mantra......’follow the directions, don’t deviate, don’t think, just follow’ and that’s exactly what we did.

‘I’m surprised how flat this walk is’ I said to Maice as we continued on, meticulously following the directions. Famous last words, for there before us rose a hill of all hills. Not only did we have to contend with the wind, which was playing havoc with our hair, not that I’ve go much left, it seems to be getting shorter and shorter every day (note to self…..stop playing with the scissors!) we also had to contend with negotiating the hill head on into the wind. To say it was hard work was an understatement but we reached the summit, took a breather and admired the view. It’s a shame it wasn’t a clear day, for in the distance we could see at least eight cruise ships sitting in Weymouth Bay.

‘Cross a stile and follow the track to Tyneham village and explore’. So we explored, then found a tree to sit beneath where we enjoyed our cheese and crisp rolls before setting off on our road trip, road being the operative word. ‘Take the exit road up the hill, at the top, follow the path parallel to the road’. Of course what it didn’t say was that the ‘exit road’ was steep, or busy, or narrow, or a mile long!! We were stop, start all the way up, getting out of the way of the cars, allowing them to pass. How pleased we were to follow the ‘parallel’ path once we’d made it to the top! Following the directions we soon came across Steeple Leaze farm where we were to ‘follow a muddy gravel path up the hill’. Well, the ‘gravel path’ we followed didn’t take us up a hill but through an enormous campsite. Something wasn’t quite right here.....there was no mention of a campsite! As we were consulting the directions, and looking very perplexed an Australian guy driving a farm buggy drove past us and stopped. ‘You guys look like you’re lost’ he said……such an observant guy! He pointed us in the right direction, which was not in the direction we were going, so retracing our steps, we found the muddy, gravel path and headed up the hill. We were feeling quite tired now, having been battered by the wind for most of the walk, surely the end was in sight!

‘At the top, continue straight ahead, with superb views over Kimmeridge’ the directions told us. And they were right. The views were superb. You know, we’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country! It was at this final part of the walk that we took the wrong path. Had we continued along the top path we would have emerged at the top of the hill next to the carpark, but no, we walked down the path, only to pass by Clavells café at the bottom, where we then had to ascend the very steep hill past the church! Those last steps uphill and the wind more or less finished us off. We’d brought our swimwear with us so that we could have a swim down in Kimmeridge bay but once back at the car, an executive decision was made to forgo the swim and just head off home.

Looking very windswept and feeling rather tired we drove home. It’s been a lovely walk, although we weren’t too keen on the road walking and thankfully the weather had been good to us, albeit it was rather on the windy side. What is it with the weather these days….no two days are the same. Apparently tomorrow it’s going to rain……again, putting paid to our plans! So, tomorrow we’re going to have another stay-cation at home and try homeschooling again, and maybe watch a movie, and learn how to use our cameras. At least Maice has had some practice today with her new camera………..all we need to do is see what the photos look like.

See you tomorrow for Day 5………..!

M&A xx

PS. Check out the holiday snaps tab for more pictures of our Dorset Staycation No.3

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